From: Alice Taylor
Ministry of Education Refuses to Publish Results of Survey into Effectiveness of Online Learning

The Ministry of Education has decided not to publish the findings of a report and evaluation into the effectiveness of online learning during the pandemic.

In January, a survey was carried out in collaboration with the Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. This survey was designed to ascertain the effectiveness of online classes in the pre-university and university system.

It came following a meeting between Minister Evis Kushi and the rectors of public universities. She made the announcement and stated that universities are performing better now when compared to the second semester of 2020 when the pandemic began

But instead of publishing the results as expected, the Ministry told the media that the results would not be published. They did not give any explanation for this decision.

Online learning in universities has been taking place since the beginning of the Academic year in October. Schools have been carrying out alternate learning in shifts for several months.

The World Bank reported recently that one in ten families in the Western Balkans do not have a computer, increasing to 28% in Albania.

Furthermore, the CRCA, a children’s rights NGO said there are more than 153,000 families who do not have internet access at home. This combined with the lack of equipment such as smartphones, laptops, or tablets, means that many have been unable to continue online learning.

There have been many protests against online learning since the pandemic began. University students have complained that they are still having to pay the same tuition fees, yet are not receiving the same level of education.

According to a survey conducted by Students Denounce, more than 80% demanded that lessons be conducted in-person again and teaching be conducted in compliance with protocols used by the Ministry of Health in schools. They have also sent a petition to Kushi and Prime Minister Edi Rama.

In an LPU study 60% of students said they are dissatisfied with the way online learning is taking place. 1570 students participated in the study.

It also found that 44.5% have partial internet access and over 70% are required to attend lectures via mobile phone.

Additionally, the Union of University Employees of Albania has sent a request to Rama to call for priority vaccination of faculty staff in the national vaccination plan. 

They consider it necessary that students return to in-person learning as the continuation of online learning will exacerbate disadvantages already present from the previous semester of online learning.